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CLAIMS DELAYED, JUSTICE DENIED

by Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV) Monday, Oct. 26, 2009 at 6:01 PM
jfav_us@yahoo.com 213-241-0906 337 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026

About 18,000 veterans are projected to be filing pension claims under the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Fund, but a website shows nearly double that number -- or 32,795 applications -- have been received by the Manila Regional Office of the US Department of Veterans Affairs as of October 1, 2009. This could indicate, according to analysts, that there may be spurious or incomplete claims being filed, or that some veterans may be submitting duplicate claims. And these could be slowing down the application process.

CLAIMS DELAYED, JUST...
018.jpglamxc8.jpg, image/jpeg, 1200x493

JFAV Update

Oct. 25, 2009



Duplicate, incomplete claims slowing veterans pension grants; about 25% already paid



WASHINGTON D.C. – About 18,000 veterans are projected to be filing pension claims under the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Fund, but a website shows nearly double that number -- or 32,795 applications -- have been received by the Manila Regional Office of the US Department of Veterans Affairs as of October 1, 2009.

This could indicate, according to analysts, that there may be spurious or incomplete claims being filed, or that some veterans may be submitting duplicate claims. And these could be slowing down the application process.

“There are duplicates and incomplete application forms being received by Manila, ” said veterans advocate Ret. USAF RSonny Sampayan.

Of 32,795 claims received, a total of 7,985 have been granted – meaning

4,149 Philippine-based veterans and 3,836 U.S.-based veterans have received their lump sum pension or about 25 percent.

A total of ,881 million have been paid in lump sum pensions, according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs' Center for Minority Veterans website.

The department website http://www1.va.gov/centerforminorityveterans/ is

providing updates on the status of the Filipino veterans claims.

“The intent is to keep veterans and their families informed, dispel any

rumors, myth or misunderstanding on the eligibility and processing and

provide assistance when necessary,” retired Major General Tony Taguba

explained to ‘Philippine News’ through email.



Of the 32,795 total claims received, 2,776 have been denied, leaving

22,034 claims still pending. Deadline for applications is February 16, 2010.

Asked about the rather slow process, Sampayan replied: "Well it is. Unfortunately it is how the VA has set up the process. Based on what we were told, you cannot have Manila process a number of claims and then have Washington DC process another number of claims because they have only one set of records. The way it is worked Manila has the documentation so therefore it makes sense that there is only one central office to do all the claims."

The FVEC, which is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 signed by President Barack Obama on February 17, 2009, authorizes the release of a onetime lump sum payment to Filipino veterans who are US citizens (,000) and non- citizens (,000).

Once an application, Form 21-4138, is received by the Manila Regional Office, it is examined for eligibility based on established criteria. When an application is approved and a decision is made the claimant is informed in writing that payments are being processed.

Should a claimant disagree with a VA decision, the Department of Veterans Affairs CMV office offers the following options: 1)“to provide VA with the evidence that may lead VA to change the decision.“ 2)“is to file a notice of disagreement (NOD), in writing explaining the reasons for disagreement.”

*******

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